Free Spaces - Theatre and Dungeons and Dragons Both shows and gaming have reputations as spaces for outsiders, and liberal spaces. We used a broad definition of freedom as 'freedom from constraint', whether social, legal, or otherwise, and sometimes as 'freedom to [do something]' or 'capacity to [do something]'. Hopefully, by looking at what freedoms theatre has that gaming doesn't, and vice-versa, we can get an idea of things we can do to make both more free.I've used the words 'theatre' and 'shows' interchangeably.See attached picture for a *much* prettier version of this in a Venn Diagram. This report explores the concepts in more detail.Imagine an alignment table, for now - on one side, Shows/Both/Games, on the other Free Spaces/Neutral Spaces/Both Spaces. So, in each option:Shows As Free Spaces- Social Status-- The social status given to theatre makers allows a freedom of action without social pressures; theatre is a space that society 'permits' to be eccentric- Freedom of identity (in some forms e.g. drag)-- In *some* forms of theatre, it's acceptable to perform identities that are against social norms.Both As Free Spaces- Freedom of action (within rules/in improv theatre) -- Particularly in gaming, there's a lot of freedom to do what the player wants. In some forms of improvisation-based theatre, there is also this freedom. However, both are dependent on free action within a set of rules, whether 5th Edition D&D Rules or the rule of 'Yes, and...'- Free to imagine any reality (though conventions exist)-- In theory, both theatre and gaming allow people to do whatever they want. However, there are strong conventions in both, whether of Tolkeinesque fantasy in D&D, or towards naturalism in theatre. These can act as constraints on theatremakers/gamers freedom.- Phone-free -- Both theatre and gaming can be phone-free spaces, outside the usual constant demand for being connected- Anarcho-syndicalist structures-- Gaming and theatre (mostly) are places where people are free, and working as part of a collective to create a story or work together. Within that, there are power dynamics that shape what we do.- Generally liberal-- Theatre-folk and gamers tend towards being liberal (in our experience). However, the structures and traditions are constraints, and can protect conservative attitudes towards collaborators in a campaign or creative process. There's more of this in 'Both as Unfree Spaces'Games As Free Spaces- Freedom of identity (depending on DM) -- Gamers can play as a wide range of races, genders, and classes (both social and in-game). Depending on the Dungeon Master, this means that people can explore aspects of their identity and use tabletop roleplaying to explore parts of their identity in a safe space.- Can explore personal -- As above- Cheap to do-- In theory, anyone can game as long as they get a starter kit.Shows As Neutral Spaces- We wrote nothing hereBoth As Neutral Spaces- Cliques/Trusted Relationships-- Included as a 'neutral' space, since on one hand the clique-iness of both theatre and gaming can inhibit access. On the other hand, there are benefits and freedoms in building a trusted set of collaborators.Games As Free Spaces- We wrote nothing hereShows As Unfree Spaces- Casting by type-- Typecasting i.e. casting based on someone's physical appearance or presumed playing range, acts as a major inhibition on freedom for theatremakers. It both limits the shows/stories performers are allowed to tell/perform, who contributes to telling and exploring certain shows, and tacitly limits the range of things theatremakers can do- Scripted Theatre-- The script is a major source of unfreedom when compared to gaming, limiting the freedom of performers' speech and subject matter.- Theatre Etiquette-- The conventions of theatre (silence, when to clap etc.) generally act as an inhibition on audience freedom. - Cost-- Theatre is expensive to produce, most of the time - even if the only cost is venue hire.Both As Unfree Spaces- Conservative legacies (gender roles, power relations, racial stereotyping) -- Both theatre and gaming have long conservative legacies, whether via Tolkien's stark gender divides and racial stereotyping, or theatre's structural inequalities of access (and gender divides and racial stereotyping). Rehearsal and gaming rooms can be places where social pressures and unwritten codes inhibit people's freedom, cause discomfort, and can become more direct harassment.- Gatekeepers-- Related to the above point, both theatre and gaming have long-standing figures who act as gatekeepers, telling those seen as outsiders to conform with the rules (both in creating a conventional show/game, and the social context of that in the rehearsal room or around the gaming table)- "My character wouldn't do that"-- Both theatre and gaming emphasise characterisation that is coherent, meaning that there is always a set of unspoken rules about what a performance may or may not contain.